National Newswatch

Erin O’Toole and the Multiverse of Madness

Feb 1 2022 — Paul Wells — A strong rule of journalistic etiquette holds that reporters mustn’t grant anonymity to sources for the purpose of badmouthing political opponents. Follow along with me now as I trample that principle underfoot. I will be ably assisted by a member of the Conservative caucus, here unnamed, with whom I chatted on Monday night. This MP […]

338Canada: Erin O’Toole is trapped

Jan 30 2022 — Philippe J. Fournier — The Conservative leader’s latest personal popularity numbers are bleak, inside and outside his party. Erin O’Toole has been leader of the Conservative Party for close to 18 months now, and during his leadership the only time his favourability numbers showed any sign of improvement was the two-week span between the Prime Minister calling an election […]

No, really, we’re totally fighting for democracy

Jan 28 2022 — Paul Wells — We’re still very far from knowing for sure that Russia will invade Ukraine. Or at least that it will invade Ukraine again, more than it already has and on a scale larger than its regular, continuing cross-border harassment. Joe Biden’s “guess” is that there will be an invasion. The U.K. is on edge too. These […]

This just in: The PM has been phoning cabinet ministers

Jan 19 2022 — — Certain reflexes are learned from experience, which helps explain why lately I open emails from the Prime Minister’s Office in something approximating the way Jeremy Renner opened packages in The Hurt Locker. A wince, a clench, a glimpse through half-shut eyes: what fresh hell have we here? Last night, reporters covering the federal government received […]

I have questions about le unvax tax

Jan 12 2022 — Paul Wells — I admit I was kind of intrigued when François Legault, the Quebec premier who’s never short of new ideas, announced he’s thinking about levying a “health contribution”—essentially, a hefty tax—against Quebecers who aren’t vaccinated. As you’ll have heard, thinking about it is so far all Legault is doing. At the Tuesday news conference where he […]

Canada’s hesitancy on military defence is leaving us vulnerable

Jan 4 2022 — Paul Wells — Sooner or later, everyone visits Ottawa. Why, here at the end of November was Glen VanHerck, a Kentucky-born U.S. Air Force general, former pilot and instructor in F-15 fighters and B-2 bombers. Since the summer of 2020 he has been the commander of NORAD, the North American Aerospace Defense Command. In Ottawa, VanHerck met Canada’s […]

And now, the inevitable Bill 21 fight

Dec 10 2021 — Paul Wells — Here’s one measure of how little Building Back Better we’re getting done here in the nation’s capital: MPs from different parties and perspectives are having an interesting conversation about important matters. But it’s entirely off-book. It’s spontaneous, the leaders of the various parties didn’t ask for it, and it’s pretty clear they desperately wish it […]

Will Canada help save Ukraine?

Dec 9 2021 — Justin Ling — When President Joe Biden got off a video call with his Russian counterpart on Tuesday, he started working the phones: Paris, Berlin, Rome, and London were all on his call sheet. He was building a unified front of countries looking to send a strong signal to Russia that an incursion into Ukraine would come with […]

Trudeau, Joly and Canada’s (un)diplomatic corps

Dec 9 2021 — Paul Wells — An oddly valedictory week for the Prime Minister. (Don’t read anything into it. What kind of fool would read anything into it?) On Monday Justin Trudeau sent out a release bidding his ambassador to Beijing, Dominic Barton, a fond farewell. “Dominic, my friend, thank you for your work and dedication to our country and to […]

The climate committee double-double

Dec 6 2021 — Paul Wells — What’s the most important thing your workplace does? Maybe you work at a restaurant, so making food is a key to success. Maybe you’re in journalism, so you need to sell advertising. If you’re in trucking, logistics—keeping track of freight, fuel and carriers—might be what keeps you up at night. Have you ever considered splitting […]

The future of the Liberal Party—without Justin Trudeau

Dec 6 2021 — Paul Wells — The biggest question in Canadian politics in 2022 is whether Trudeau will still be PM when the year is done. The Grits may be forced to consider life after him—and what they even stand for without him. Trudeau and the newly sworn in ministers in Ottawa on Oct. 26, 2021 (Courtesy of Alex Tétreault/PMO) On […]